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12/02/2021

Ulta Beauty tops expectations as beauty business rebounds

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Ulta Beauty storefront
Ulta Beauty operated 1,302 stores at the close of its third quarter.

Ulta Beauty reported better-than-expected third-quarter results with comp sales that topped pre-pandemic levels.

The beauty giant’s net income increased to $215.3 million in the quarter ended Oct. 30, from $74.8 million in the year-ago period. Earnings per share of $3.94 topped analysts' expectations of $2.48. Adjusted earnings per share was $1.64.

Net sales increased 28.6% to $2 billion compared to $1.6 billion the year-ago quarter, amid stronger consumer confidence and fewer COVID-19 restrictions compared to last year. Analysts were expecting sales of $1.89 billion.

Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months, including stores temporarily closed due to COVID-19, and e-commerce sales) increased 25.8% compared to a decrease of 8.9% last year. Comp sales rose 14.3% compared to the third quarter of 2019.

Sales were driven by a 16.8% increase in transactions and a 7.7% increase in average ticket, Ulta said.

“For the third quarter, we delivered record sales and earnings, increased our market share, and expanded our Ultamate Rewards loyalty program to nearly 36 million members,” said Dave Kimbell, CEO. “This strong third quarter performance reflects the strength and resiliency of the beauty category, the power of the Ulta Beauty differentiated model, and the impact of our winning culture and team.”

Real estate activity in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 included seven new stores. In addition, the company relocated two stores, remodeled three stores, and closed one store.  During  the first nine months of fiscal 2021, the company opened 42 new stores, relocated four stores, remodeled eight stores and closed four storesAt the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2021, the company operated 1,302 stores.

[Read More: Ulta to open 50 stores annually; promises faster delivery, invests in AI company]